Not Quite Perfect Stuffed Tomatoes

I have really enjoyed all the fresh tomatoes from my mom, and now my brother!  Of course, as soon as I got them I began looking through my cookbooks and looking online for new tomato recipes beyond things like salsa and pizza.

WELL.

I have only been partly successful.  (By the way, my husband Bogdan told me “Tomatoes are not an entire meal!  You have to make something to go with them.” Live and learn… 😉

One of my most recent tomato experiments was stuffed tomatoes.  Now, bear in mind that this was also my very (very!) first experience (ever!) with quinoa.  I figured stuffed tomatoes would be a great use for it.  It did sort of work… but I’m sure there have been better stuffed tomatoes made in the past by other people.

So there they are.  Here’s how I did them:

I cut the insides out of the tomatoes, and saved part of it to mix into my filling.  My filling consisted of cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, chives, quinoa, tomato, red bell pepper, and salt. (I think that’s it?)  I baked them at 400 degrees for around 15 minutes.

The result?

They were tolerable.  I still thought the tomatoes tasted like plain cooked tomatoes, even though the insides were somewhat tasty.

So what did I do wrong?  What is a better use for quinoa?  And suggestions?

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About recipeshappen

I'm Bonnie. I'm a pharmacy technician and new wife to Bogdan. I love cooking, usually without recipes. I love good sales and coupons, but haven't quite figured out the best way to find them. I make the typical new-wife mistakes and have burned my share of cookies. I like a cold house and a hot shower all year long.
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23 Responses to Not Quite Perfect Stuffed Tomatoes

  1. Bonnie, have you had a look at my Stuffed Baked Tomatoes with Couscous? I found it very tasty when I made it a few days back.
    Paul

  2. Candida says:

    I think mine tend to be more traditional, just rice, tomato chunks, garlic, onion salt, pepper (and sometimes ground beef). I do find that drizzling the tomatoes inside and out with extra virgin olive oil before they get stuffed helps the tomato flavor a bit though!

    Quinoa was a brave choice! I really like it but I don’t cook with it much. Hard to figure out what to do with it.

    > >

  3. Healthy Glow Nutrition says:

    It looks yummy though 🙂 The thing about quinoa is that it has a really distinctive flavor. When I had to go gluten free, I had to develop a “taste” for it. Now I love it. The trick is to season it well. Cook it with stock instead of water, even toast it lightly in a dry pan before using it as it takes on a nutty flavor. I use it instead of oats by adding hot milk, raisins nuts, honey etc. I’ll make some recipes and post them soon 🙂
    Also funny about Bogdan saying that tomatoes are not a meal. I laughed as I get this at home all the time. My boyfriend always asks wheres the “rest” of the meal lol

  4. saladcheese says:

    To give them “flavor”, rub the inside of the tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper before stuffing them. That should brighten up the package.

  5. My father-in-law makes a great cold stuffed tomato as an appetizer – he just fills the hollowed out tomato with a crab and shrimp salad and serves it cold. It’s great. I haven’t tried baking them yet, but I certainly have more than enough this year to experiment with.

  6. Those look great!! I would swap bread crumbs for quinoa and instead of all mozz used a sharper flavored cheese like parm. The mozz would be great on top for melting and for color. Either way those look beautiful!! Nicely done!

  7. What a good idea! I kind of forgot about stuffing tomatoes (or peppers, or eggplant) so this was a useful reminder for me. About quinoa: I love it as the base for a cold salad (like pasta salad), with corn, kidney beans, a little onion and sweetpepper, salt, black pepper, and a little oil and vinegar as the dressing. I often use it in place of rice, as it’s a very fast-cooking whole grain, so is convenient and easy.

  8. My mom has been sending me home with tomatoes every time I visit this summer, and one of my favorite side dishes is just to slice up tomatoes and drizzle them with balsamic vinaigrette.

  9. Must confess that I do NOT like quinoa — I tried it a few times recently, once out and once at home, and I just don’t enjoy it. :p

    I did make stuffed tomatoes with bread crumbs and blue cheese a while back that were pretty tasty — good with steak on the grill.

  10. One of the best, easiest dishes I ever had with quinoa was a simple saute with bacon and kale. Cook the quinoa, saute it using a bit extra of the bacon grease, add finely chopped kale and crumbled bacon. I think it’s supposed to be a side, but I could just eat it by the bowl.

    For the stuffed tomatoes, maybe swap the cheese for goat cheese? And add something more expected, dried fruit or something? A play on savory and sweet? Just thinking out loud, but you’ve certainly inspired me to experiment, especially with the gorgeous heirlooms I’ve been seeing!

  11. I have a cookbook called “Too Many Peppers, Tomatoes, and Zucchini”. I got it super cheap at a bargain store, so of course can’t find it online! There’s a recipe in there for what my husband would call “tuna pasta bake” (he’s British), but basically it’s cooked pasta mixed with tuna (mixed with mayo), and you layer sliced tomatoes and lots of cheese on top and bake it til golden. It’s delicious! With my hoard of tomatoes I’ve also made pasta sauce (freezable), tomato basil soup, and gazpacho.

  12. Jaclynn says:

    Welll….it looks and sounds pretty delish to me, but I second the idea of using couscous instead and I would up the spices…likes some fresh basil/oregano/garlic salt combination. And yes, use some chicken broth to cook the quinoa or couscous in for a lot of flavor! 🙂

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